Art Work Enhancements

I created the character of Henderson Wently as a boy who sees the world and processes everything in images. Hender is also a gifted doodler, drawer, and in one scene his other mother finds his sketchbook of unusual pictures. I see the final published version of AWESOME SAUCE filled with his drawings. Here are two normal ones I can share:

Hender Wently Self Portrait

The view from Hender’s window

Since I am far from being an artist, where did these images come from? Let me back up a bit and explain. Last spring I was talking to a lady in my neighborhood who had kindly read the very first draft of my manuscript. Reading my middle grade novel motivated her to dust off a Young Adult title she had started back in college but never quite finished. Last month she finished it off and inquired what is involved in getting published. After explaining the traditional route with searching for an agent and then the agent searching for a publisher, she immediately said no way was she going through all of that. I told her she could self publish (very expensive) or pursue Print on Demand (POD), a fairly new option for getting your work out there in a much quicker manner at little or no cost. I won’t go into detail about this publishing strategy but it is a force to be reckoned with both now and even more in the future.

So, back to the art work. My friend is going through Amazon’s print on demand service and wants to avoid any charges for artwork by providing her own. She has a wonderful cover with a photograph she took and then edited on her own computer. She wanted pencil sketches to begin each chapter but like me hasn’t progressed past the stick figure stage. I took her through a simple process to convert a digital photograph into pencil art.

You first need a photo editing tool like Photoshop, Fireworks, or PhotoStudio to name a few. If you don’t want that expense you can also find free services online. To create the two drawings above I used an old version of Photostudio that outlasted the Canon scanner it came with years ago. In less than 30 seconds I opened up two of my own images and applied the special sketch art pencil effect. Easy and painless plus unique looking. They also make great coloring pages for the young ones around the house.

For future use instead of coloring I may go through my manuscript and create the many other somewhat bizarre sketches Hender has in his sketchbook and post them here.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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